25 Jun 2007

Drop in births in 2006 in American Samoa

6:16 am on 25 June 2007

There has been a sharp drop in the number of births recorded at the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa.

The Chief Statistician at the Department of Commerce, Vai Filiga, says in 2006 there's been an almost 17% drop in the number of babies born.

He says the average number of babies born was 1700 for the last several years, but in 2006 figures provided by the LBJ show that there were 300 fewer births.

Mr Filiga says the decline will have implications on the annual population growth.

He also says the head of Obstetrics, Gynaecology at LBJ, Dr John Ah Ching believes the decline could be as the result of successful family planning programs.

Meanwhile, Chief Statistician Filiga is checking with the Office of Vital Statistics to ascertain if there were any home births not included in the LBJ figures.